Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The missing story

By Carl 

Today is the fifth anniversary of the London transit bombings.

Naturally, the British papers are full of references.

Oddly, the only references in American media are from the Voice of America and some short wire service pieces. Interesting particularly when you consider the Queen was visiting just yesterday, on the eve of the anniversary, and visited our ground zero.

I say "oddly" because what England suffered that day is what America is only now starting to see: home-grown terrorism. First British and now American citizens attacking their countrymen.

In America, though, those attacks could be militant Islamists, or militant right-wingers. There's the dirty little secret of the American media. This is a third-rail story possibly because if they were to report it fully, they'd have to report on the activities of the Eric Rudolphs in this nation: angry white men with grudges.

This would also require exploring why those angry white men are so angry, and here's the real story: they're angry because they feel their own country is against them.

It's easy to poo-poo those complaints. After all, old white men still have it the easiest in this nation. They're living longer, they have drugs to prevent erectile dysfunction which means they can have sex longer, they make the lion's share of money in this country, own the lion's share of property.

The problem with the easy answer here is, it's the wrong answer. It's not that angry white men are wrong to be angry. It's wrong that they're angry because they're white.

The real problem stems from the fact that society has put aside, for the most part, the racial divides. Instead, the problem lies within economic classes. So the angry white man has more in common with the working class black man or woman, or white woman for that matter, than he has in common with the concentration of wealth that has occurred over the past thirty years.

In the hands of rich (and not angry) white men. The United States has spent thirty years assisting those who need no assistance, at the expense of transmogrifying a thriving middle class into a society of poor and indebted. When you consider the fact that several tens of millions of Americans owe to banks and credit card companies more than the total value of their assets (i.e. are functionally bankrupt) and that two-income families, almost unheard of in 1980, are now the norm, it's no wonder that working class white men are angry, and that middle-class white men are not far behind. Who wants to live like that, knowing that a catastrophic illness, or a divorce, or a fire could wipe you out and force you to live on the streets?

That's not a fantasy. That's a reality, and that reality builds another reality where terrorism might be the blonde German-American frustrated that his wife left him holding the bag. In a dog-eat-dog world, the losing dog is going to look mighty tasty.

(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind.)

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